Does benadryl work for cold symptoms?

Ah, the common cold. That inevitable yearly nuisance that causes more misery than a 3-hour commute on public transportation. As we all know, there is no cure for the cold virus and we just have to let it run its course while stockpiling tissues like squirrels hoard nuts.

But what about treatment? There are countless over-the-counter remedies advertised as quick fixes for your sniffling, sneezing and coughing needs. One such remedy is Benadryl – yes, the same Benadryl used to treat allergies. But does it actually work when it comes to cold symptoms? Let’s find out.

How does Benadryl work?

Before delving into whether or not Benadryl works for cold symptoms, let’s discuss how this antihistamine works in general.

When you experience an allergic reaction or come down with a case of hives (the kind on your skin, not the beekeeper variety), your body produces histamines – chemicals that cause inflammation and itching in response to allergens. Antihistamines like Benadryl block those chemicals from attaching to histamine receptors in our cells which reduces allergy symptoms including itching, sneezing and watery eyes.

Now you might be wondering what any of this has to do with the common cold since allergies and viruses are different things altogether (just ask anyone who’s ever had hay fever). The answer: not much.

So why would people use Bennedril?

As it turns out; some people swear by using antihistamines during their bouts with congestion caused by airborne irritants because they believe blocking these mediators also decrease swelling in nasal passages associated with non-allergic rhinitis (a fancy term doctors use when they don’t know exactly why you’re congested but deduce it isn’t due to allergies).

Intrigued yet? Keep reading.

Does Benadryl work for colds?

You’re probably wanting a straightforward answer to that million-dollar question by this point, but I’m afraid the best response is: it depends.

The truth is there’s no definitive answer to whether or not antihistamines will improve your cold symptoms as results vary from person to person.

One study found that while diphenhydramine (Benadryl) did alleviate runny nose and congestion in some subjects with non-allergic rhinitis, overall these benefits were statistically insignificant compared with placebo which means there was little difference between taking Benadryl and taking nothing at all.

Another study on children hospitalized for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections showed significant improvement in sustained sleep efficacy when using loratidine(Claritin), an oral second-generation antihistamine, vs. those givena placebo . The big takeaway here: if you have a fever, see your doctor; alternatively- stick with Claritin over Benadryol if you want relief without drowsiness!

Symptoms of common cold

Sneezing
Headache
Runny/stuffy nose
Fever (!!!)
Body Aches

Antihistamines vs Decongestants Battle Royale

When it comes to treating a stuffy nose and easing sinus pressure, decongestants are another option worth considering. Unlike antihistamines which block histaminemediators, these drugs work directly on the blood vessels in our nasal passages causing them fora timporary contraction . This relieves congestion by minimizing inflammation caused bymucus production – however,this can cause increased-heart rate-a rare symptom that should be watched outflr!

We’ve put togethera head-to-head comparisonof the prosand cons ofeach medication:

Antihistamines Decongestants
Pros Help Relieve sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes Reduce nasal congestion and pressure (while being good for thosewith hypertension)
May have sedative effects which can help with sleep
Long history of use so there’s an abundance of info out there if you want to really dive into your searchfor the right one
Can be taken in doses that won’t interact poorly with other medication. /Actually make you high
Cons +Somemay cause drowsiness orsevere dry mouth!
+Can exacerbate symptoms like thicc mucus accumulation
+ Drys up mucous- membranes
+Possible palpitations/exacerbationof anxiety caused by stimulant properties

When choosing between antihistamines and decongestants when dealing with your cold symptoms, weigh the prosand cons before making a selection.

Conclusion

So does Benadryl work for cold symptoms? To quote my favorite philosophy professor: “Maybe yes, maybe no.” If you’re specifically looking to alleviate itching, then Benadryl is likely to do the trick thanks to its antihistamine action against specific allergens generating histamines… howeverit’s not guaranteedto relieve all hallmark cold symptomatics so it’s bestlook at your options through a differential lens rather than relying on this asyour only tool.

Ultimately. The severity ofsymptoms will play a considerable role in determining whether any form oftreatmentwill provide relief from cold-induced congestion.Staying well rested bolsters immune function during the early stages-the -cold-and drinking plenty of fluids can help allowany drainage issues-to lessen over time.. Meanwhile stoppingthe spreadof germs by washing your hands is the key infectiopreventionstrategy that’s always worth hopping onboard!

In any case, be patient with yourself and give your body time to conquer this virus on its own. Before you know it, you’ll be back to enjoying all of the joys of winter – or at least one main advantage; no pollen.

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